KnowledgeWhen Peer Pressure Is Good For Your Cause

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By Timothy Brandl

Successful fundraising relies on leveraging peer networks. As soon as an individual decides on a worthy fundraising cause they proceed to reach out to those closest to them for support – be it friends, families or colleagues. Since online communications are faster and online donor networks are larger, online fundraising makes connections easier. 

Researchers at The Centre for Market and Public Organisation demonstrate in a 2013 study that online donors are influenced by amounts others have already given. They call this phenomenon the ‘peer effect.’ Examining 12,000 personal fundraising pages from the 2010 London Marathon, the authors find strong evidence that higher average peer donations increase subsequent pledge amounts. The peer effect also influences larger donations, producing greater and longer-lasting responses from subsequent donors. 

raisin’s online fundraising tools facilitate the peer effect to help your organization generate conversions and to increase the value of donations made during peer-to-peer campaigns. Participant fundraising pages display their fundraising goal and a thermometer, alongside all gifts pledged to the fundraiser on a scrolling ‘Honour Roll’ list. The Honour Roll lists the highest giving donors to challenge potential donors to match them or give more. Donation forms include ‘suggested’ giving amounts provided by custom-set giving matrixes with dollar values affixed to a description of the difference it makes for the cause: this encourages an ‘up-sell’-type donation approach. 

raisin also drives the peer effect forward with its social offerings, such as automatic Facebook posts calling to action friends, family members and colleagues through updates on your fundraising progress. Through the Participant E-mail Centre, fundraisers are able to import contacts and send mass system-generated messages to friends, family and extended network, and track whether they open them and whether they donate to your cause. 

Whether it is a run, walk or ride Pledge event, a stand-alone third-party event or an ‘In-Honour’ or ‘In-Memory’ page, raisin’s peer-to-peer features drive your mission forward. Be sure to encourage your fundraisers to leverage their peer networks to help raise more money and awareness to your occasion! 


Peer Effects in Charitable Giving: Evidence from the (Running Field) by Sarah Smith, Frank Windmeijer and Edmund Wright
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